Please allow me to introduce you to my Beautiful Binder (BB). It has turned out to be the best $27 I’ve spent in a very long time. I feel happy when I look at it, it is pleasant to touch and it has been key for getting my life back in order. Now, BB would be absolutely perfect if it smelled like bacon!
In a previous entry, I mentioned that I feel like I’m waking up. What with being asleep for so long, the list of things to do is incredibly long. There are also many things I’d like to accomplish just because I can. Things like decorating, foraging, hiking, getting together with friends, playing… In the land of purple skies I would have a personal assistant, someone who could keep track of everything and ensure that nothing gets forgotten. However, my skies are not of a purple hue, so I must manage my own life sans assistant – hence the introduction and heavy reliance and use of BB.
Like an assistant, BB has helped me handle large, previously overwhelming, projects. They’ve been broken down into many small tasks and I’ve already found that these little tasks are much more easily accomplished when spread out over a reasonable amount of time. I don’t know why I haven’t been able to manage this in the past, but I suppose I’ve been ill and should cut myself a little slack. Perhaps this year I’ll be ahead of the game or at least not completely overwhelmed by things like Christmas, birthdays and holidays. In addition to its help in planning, BB has helped provide a bit of insight and balance. I’m much better able to see at a glance if I’ve got too much planned or have lost a sense of balance.
I thought I was busy before, but I suppose I was just busy trying to survive each day! These days I’m productively busy and I’m able to keep track of everything with my new system. So far, my accomplishments since implementing my new system are: sending off three years’ worth of photos for printing, planning Christmas events, cards, dinner, baking and preparations, preparing for some updates in our living and dining rooms, working on research and self-analysis and keeping track of ordinary day-to-day tasks/appointments.
When opened, you can see that BB has a lovely pouch for note scraps, small accordion file for magazines and articles and plenty of room in the ring binder for my notebook, dividers, organizer pages and monthly calendars.
BB would travel well, as it easily zips closed, however it is a bit too large and heavy to take everywhere. Not wanting to splash out any more money (BB was a little pricey), I made some ‘travelers’ that easily fit into my purse or backpack and weigh almost nothing at all. Four 12″ x 12″ scrapbooking sheets that have been hiding away in my supplies for ages were laminated with packing tape, cut and assembled into eye-pleasing, sturdy size 10 envelopes. Yes, the packing tape is rather cheap and nasty, but the price is right and I can’t complain about its durability. The first traveler has lasted almost a month now and is still going strong! The other three have been set aside for when the first wears out.
Weekly planner sheets are a critical element to the system. I have the weekly planning sheets already printed for the rest of the year. Each day has its own page and there is room to identify goals for the week and roughly sketch out ideas for the future (ex: ideas about hikes). Each day also has a little ‘for myself’ section to jot down what I’m going to do just for myself on that particular day. These things don’t need to be huge projects, they can be little things like doing my nails, going to a uke jam session and so on. Folded in thirds, the weekly planner pages tuck nicely into the traveler along with any necessary bits of paper that will be needed during the week (photo orders, grocery lists).
At bedtime, I’ve been happily spending a few relaxing moments reviewing the day and transferring things to tomorrow’s sheet that didn’t get done. After updating BB, the traveler goes back into my purse and I can fall asleep knowing that things are well in hand. Each evening, the final pleasant task with BB has been spent making notes on my current book.
Thanks for spending time with me. Have a lovely day!